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review 2017-12-18 06:40
Little help
Tribute Act - Joanna Chambers

This is book #8, in the Porthkennack series.  This title can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding of the series, I always recommend reading the series books in order.

 

Mack & Nathan have a hot history.  One that they agreed they would keep private.  Mack is already under the weather and needs to recuperate without added stress.  Only he wants to be more with Nathan and does not know how.

 

Nathan is really needing to move on.  For right now, he helps a man who he wants to keep.  Only he promised to keep things simple.  Can he convince his new roomy that complicated is better?

 

This was such a sweet story.  Unexpectedly light in some parts, I really felt the story deeply.  I sure hope we see these characters again.  Compelling for more than one reason, this book is a sure win!  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-17 13:18
London: Orbital (The Change #1)
The Change 1: London: Orbital - Guy Adams

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

(For some reason, when I requested it, I thought it was a graphic novel. Probably because of the cover. I really like that cover.)

This was a fast read with good and bad sides, and I’m very much undecided about it.

The quick pace gave a sense of urgency to the plot, and made the events all the more gruesome for the characters involved: some you don’t get to know that much before something happens, but at the same time, in a post-apocalyptic setting where whatever caused all the surrounding may still be around, it does make sense. Can’t have kittens and flowers and all the time in the world, it’s gritty, and it shows.

I liked this first episode’s depiction of a ravaged Greater London, and very likely world in general. There isn’t much information at this point about ‘the Change’, although it’s heavily hinted that whatever it was, those who saw it died, so now nobody really knows. There’s a lot of gory stuff going on, too, as people along the way get picked by... well, what’s following Howard, basically. The way that was depicted conveyed the feeling of horror well enough, and made those parts of the story pretty frightening?

On the downside, the quick pace I mentioned previously was also a two-edged sword. For one thing, it made things confusing. It’s difficult to have a story that unfolds quickly without revealing too many details in one go, but at the same time keeps interest fully up by still giving out enough answers; for me, at this point, I was just lacking that extra bit of information. And with Howard missing his memories, it’s one more point of view that cannot bring answers to the many questions raised throughout the novel, so in the end I had a hard time keeping my attention up.

The pace also made it hard to connect with the characters, which is something that often jars with me in post-ap stories in general, anyway: characters clicking with each other very quickly because ‘we’re all in this together’ vs. ‘the world as we knew it has ended, how can I trust just about anyone I meet?’

Conclusion: There are interesting elements in here, but the story left me more confused than curious about the final answers, and I couldn’t really care about the main characters.

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review 2017-12-16 18:01
Find You in the Dark
Find You in the Dark: A Novel - Nathan Ripley

Martin Reese is a family man, but he has a dark secret - he's obsessed with murder and has been for years. He's been illegally buying police files on serial killers. He studies these files in depth and uses them as guides to find the missing bodies. He never takes anything except pictures that he stores on an old laptop. He calls the police and tells them where to look and he does it anonymously. When a crooked cop goes missing Detective Sandra Whittal zeroes in on the mysterious caller. She doesn't see the caller as helpful. She knows he isn't the killer, but she believes he'll start killing sooner rather than later. While on his latest dig, Martin digs himself into a hole that he may not be able to get himself out of.

I love the cover. This book gripped me from the very first page and didn't let go until the very end. The concept is interesting - a husband and father leaves home for a bit every now and then to dig up bodies of missing women that the cops never found. Isn't that dangerous? How does he not get caught? Why is he doing it? This whole story was crazy but it also felt very real. Martin believed he was doing a good thing and he just got in way too deep. I was worried about him more than once. This was so well-written and such an intense page-turner that I felt like I was a part of it and not just sitting on the couch reading a book. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC.

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review 2017-12-16 11:00
Fairies
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler

by Morgan Daimler

 

Non-fiction

 

This book is about the folklore and fairy tradition of Ireland. It may well be the most down-to-earth book on the subject on the market to date. Rather than the airy-fairy Victorian ideas of pretty little girl fairies that popular culture has spread, this is about the original tales and beliefs that are still prevalent in a mostly Christian Ireland.

 

The book is well researched. Tales from many places in the British Isles and Europe are cited and the folk beliefs are given context. Actual belief in fairies isn't required to enjoy the relation of the stories, though the author is mostly directing the information at a Pagan readership where some degree of belief is relevant.

 

There is a lot of repetition. Perhaps it was needed for context but I've seen the same information about fairy behavior in three different chapters and that gives the impression of padding. My only other complaint is that in an early chapter there was a promise to explain the difference between fairies and nature spirits, but only a passing reference to the latter later on. I pretty much understand the difference but would have liked to see it put into words to clarify.

 

Overall a good reference for anyone new to the subject, although the classic reference books are cited so often that I wonder if someone with more than a passing interest should just reading those works. Mostly well written, though it meanders in the last couple of chapters.

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review 2017-12-15 21:35
ARC Review: Where Do I Start by Chase Taylor Hackett
Where Do I Start? (Why You?) - Chase Taylor Hackett

I'm super late with this review - my apologies to the author and publisher.

Where Do I Start, indeed.

Fletcher, immature and possibly a sex addict, is a serial cheater. Two years ago or so, he and his then-boyfriend Roger broke up, because Roger found out about Fletcher treating the gay scene in NYC as his personal buffet and Roger wasn't putting up with that.

Personality-wise, it was clear from the start that Fletch and Roger are two very different people - Fletch is immature, happy-go-lucky, spontaneous, whereas Roger is much more mature, set in his ways and a bit staid. Not that those are bad things, but at the time they were together, perhaps Fletch felt a bit... stifled.

Now two years have passed, Fletch is still sampling the buffet whenever he can, and Roger has a new boyfriend named Jeffrey. And Fletch just ran into Roger and might have realized what he lost. 

Some folks have perhaps shied away from this book because of the cheating mentioned in the blurb - none of that happens on page, and none of it happens once Fletch decides to win Roger back. 

One might think that Fletcher attempting to break up Roger and Jeffrey is selfish and speaks to his maturity level, and one would be right in as much as Fletch at first only sees his own desire to get back with Roger. But then, as I watched Fletcher grow throughout the book, I could also see that Roger, mature, staid, reliable Roger, really needed Fletcher in his life, and that the two of them, as opposite as they are, really complement each other, and bring out the best in each other.

Of course, Fletcher's scheming is not without its up and downs, and there are plenty of hurt feelings in the way at first, as well as a lack of trust, and obviously Jeffrey. 

I loved Fletcher snarky inner voice, his nearly child-like optimism, and his strength of conviction - once he made up his mind that Roger was it for him, he went full on ahead with the seduction, until... well, you read this for yourself.

I rather enjoyed this tale of one very flawed almost anti-hero who grew up and became a real boy when he realized whom he had, through his own actions, hurt. Making amends isn't easy, but he didn't give up, not even when the odds of success where minimal, and when it seemed like the rest of the world was conspiring against him. 

This was an excellent debut novel from a new author telling an awesome tale of an immature boy who became a man, almost on his own.

I look forward to Jeffrey's book which will come early next year. Cannot wait!

 

 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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